Daniel Asia (b. 1953, Seattle, WA) is one of a small number of composers who have traversed both the realms of professional performance and academia with equal skill. As testament to this he is a 2010 recipient of a major American Academy of Arts and Letters award. Elliott Hurwitt writes in a Schwann Opus review of the composer’s music, “Daniel Asia is a genuine creative spirit, an excellent composer… He is a welcome addition to the roster of our strongest group of living composers.”
His orchestral works have been commissioned or performed by the symphony orchestras of Cincinnati, Seattle, Milwaukee, New Jersey, Phoenix, American Composers Orchestra, Columbus (OH), Grand Rapids, Jacksonville, Chattanooga, Memphis, Tucson, Knoxville, Greensboro, Seattle Youth, and the Brooklyn, Colorado and Pilsen (Czech Republic) philharmonics. Asia’s works have been performed by renowned conductors including Zdenek Macal, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Eiji Oue, Lawrence Leighton Smith, Hermann Michael, Carl St. Clair, James Sedares, Stuart Malina, Robert Bernhardt, George Hanson, Jonathan Shames, Odaline de la Martinez, and Christopher Kendall.
He has been the recipient of the most important grants and fellowships in music including a Meet The Composer/ Reader’s Digest Consortium Commission, United Kingdom Fulbright Arts Award Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, four NEA Composers Grants, a M. B. Rockefeller Grant, an Aaron Copland Fund for Music Grant, MacDowell Colony and Tanglewood Fellowships, ASCAP and BMI composition prizes, and a DAAD Fellowship for study in the Federal Republic of Germany. From 1991-1994, Mr. Asia was the Meet the Composer/ Composer In Residence with the Phoenix Symphony.
The composer’s major orchestral works include five symphonies, piano and cello concerti, two song cycles, and several single movement works. His output for chamber ensembles and solo performers is also extensive and includes works written for or commissioned by Koussevitsky Music Foundation, Fromm Music Foundation, D’Addario Foundation for the Performing Arts/Domus, The Czech Nonet/Barlow Endowment/Arizona Friends of Chamber Music, Oberlin Woodwind Quintet, Dorian Wind Quintet, American Brass Quintet, Meadowmount Trio, Andre-Michel Schub (piano), Carter Brey (cello), Alex Klein (oboe), Benjamin Verdery (guitar), John Shirley-Quirk and Sara Watkins (baritone and oboe), Jonathan Shames (piano), violinists Curtis Macomber, Gregory Fulkerson, Mark Rush and Zina Schiff, and Robert Dick (flute).
Other performers of his smaller scale works include Cleveland Chamber Orchestra, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, San Francisco Contemporary Chamber Players, Contemporary Chamber Players/Chicago, Scott Chamber Players/Indianapolis, The Bridge Ensemble, Aspen Festival Chamber Orchestra, Northwest Chamber Orchestra, Endymion Ensemble, Lontano and the BBC Singers.
His music has been played throughout the United States, and in the major venues of New York, including Carnegie Hall and Recital Hall, 92nd Street Y, Merkin Hall, the Great Hall at Cooper Union, those of London including Queen Elizabeth Hall (South Bank), St. John’s Smith Square, Wigmore Hall, and throughout Europe and Asia.
Asia’s recorded works may be heard on the Summit, New World, Albany, Babel, Innova, and Mushkatweek labels featuring artists as diverse as New Zealand Symphony, Pilsen Philharmonic (release pending), American Brass Quintet, Dorian Wind Quintet, and Cypress String Quartet, to name but a few.
After receiving his BA degree from Hampshire College, Mr. Asia received his MM from the Yale School of Music. After serving as Assistant Professor of Contemporary Music and Wind Ensemble at the Oberlin Conservatory from 1981-86, Mr. Asia resided in London from 1986-88 working under the auspices of a UK Fulbright Arts Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is presently Professor of Composition, and head of the Composition Department, at The University of Arizona, Tucson. Mr. Asia’s music is published by Theodore Presser Co. He is represented as composer and conductor by Stanton Consulting & Management of Astoria, New York. Married to Carolee Asia, Mr. Asia and his wife are the parents of three children.